- When someone loses a lot of blood their heart can still pump the remaining blood and nutrients as long as the volume of the blood is topped up.
- A saline solution (artifical blood) is used to replace the lost volume of blood.
- Artificial blood is safe (as long as no air bubbles get into the blood) and it can keep the person alive long enough for their body to replace the blood they have lost.
- If can save a persons life even if they have lost 2/3 of their blood.
- It saves people from having to have a blood transfusion.
- Artificial blood is being developed so the blood can replace the function of the red blood cells. However this currently has side-effects so is still being worked on.
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Artificial Parts of the Heart
- Artificial hearts are mechanical devices which work the same way as a normal heart but they are usually a temporary fix to keep the patient alive until a donor heart is found.
- Having a heart transplant is a major operation and there is always chance that the person could lose too much blood or get an infection.
- It is better than a normal donated heart because the body dosen't see the metal and plastic as foreign material and therfore the body's immune system does not attack it.
- However the mechancial heart doesn't last as long as the materials wear down and the electrical motor could failure,
- There is also a chance that the heart will develop blood clots because the blood dosen't flow through the heart as well. The pateint has to take blood thinning drugs which could cause major problems if the patient gets injured.
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Stents To Keep Arteries Open
- Stents and tubes are inserted to peoples arteries when they have Coronary Heart Disease. This is where they have too many fatty substances blocking their artieries. This causes restricted blood flow and can lead to a heart attack.
- The stent pushes the artery wall out, squshing the fatty deposit.
- Over time the artery could narrow again and the stents can irritate the artery and make scar tissue grow.
- The patient has to take drugs to stop the blood clotting on the stent.
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